Duty looks Super bet
Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt picks out his best bets for day three of the Cheltenham Festival.
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There are two Grade Ones on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival and in the Ryanair Chase I really like FIRST LIEUTENANT.
Trainer Mouse Morris had a horse run very well on the first day in Baily Green and his representative here has a great record at the Festival.
- 1pt win Close House in 2.05 Cheltenham at best-morning price - won a qualifier at Wincanton in good style and ran with great credit behind Simonsig last year
- 1pt win Cantlow in 4.00 Cheltenham at best-morning price - this looks his trip and and looks to have a big handicap in him
- 2pts win Super Duty in 4.40 Cheltenham at best-morning price- best rider booked, he's the best horse and he runs to the line. Great chance
He's been in great form this season, very narrowly beaten in the Lexus Chase, and won't be inconvenienced by dropping back to two miles five.
Cue Card is another with a good record at the meeting and won at Ascot last time but I do wonder if he'll come up the hill quite as well as First Lieutenant.
Albertas Run is going for his third win in the race but I'm not sure he's going to be quite good enough, a comment which also applies to Commanche Court.
It probably isn't a vintage renewal of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle but I have no doubt what is the best horse in the race, OSCAR WHISKY.
He's the classiest horse in the race and it's just a question of whether he's going to get the trip. He was narrowly beaten by Reve De Sivola in very deep ground here the last day but it won't be quite as testing this time. If that's the case he can take his revenge on that rival.
Bog Warrior is another interesting runner but he's very well suited by cut in the ground and it could be drying up a little too much for him.
Elsewhere I like the look of CLOSE HOUSE in the Pertemps Final. He won a qualifier at Wincanton having been a very good second here on his reappearance. He also ran with great credit at last year's Festival, finishing fourth to Simonsig in the Neptune.
Sam Winner is very strongly fancied for the Paul Nicholls team and could be very well handicapped on his fourth behind Zarkandar in the Triumph Hurdle a couple of seasons ago but I'm with the progressive Close House who will offer better value.
It's hard to oppose Dynaste who looks a cut above his rivals in the Jewson although perhaps he should have run in the RSA as it would have been a greater challenge.
He's a no bet but I like two horses in the later handicaps.
In the Byrne Group Plate all the talk is of Ballynagour for the Pipe team. He could be well handicapped despite being thumped by the assessor for his win at Warwick.
Hunt Ball may find the ground a little too dead and he has a big weight and the horse I like is AP McCoy's mount CANTLOW. He has been trained for a crack at this, is stepping up in trip for the first time over fences and was placed over even further in a hurdles race here last year.
He's improving all the time over the larger obstacles and there's more to come from him.
In the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir I really like SUPER DUTY and make him one of my bets of the meeting. He could have run in the RSA but comes here with the excellent Derek O'Connor in the saddle. He runs to the line, jumps soundly and has form at the track. Despite a big weight he's going to take all the beating.